US vs Ireland, in Ireland’s Backyard

20 Sep

This past week has been action packed to say the least! At this time last post (or thereabouts), I was beginning to grasp the pub-centered Irish culture, and how in particular, sports played a huge role in the composition of relationships amongst the Irish people.

Two weekends ago, I ventured down to Tralee, Co. Kerry, with my housemate Linda and her friend Grainne, to celebrate Linda’s 21st with her family. Without going into great detail, I will just tell you that the Irish do not kid around on their 21st birthday! Linda’s extended family, neighborhood, and friends from all over Ireland were in attendance! Before the celebration began, one of Linda’s friends brought to my attention that Ireland would be playing the United States in the Rugby World Cup on Sunday morning at 7a.m. Being as it is a sin to miss your country compete in a rugby match in Ireland, many of us found ourselves crowded around the television Sunday morning after a rather late night. I never imagined that I would be the lone American representative in a room full of Irish people, watching the two countries compete! Fifteen or so of my new best Irish friends were sure to mention to me that the Americans didn’t stand a chance against the much maligned Irish Rugby team. Since my knowledge of rugby is pretty negligible, I was willing to believe just about everything they told me… I did, however, get a sense of pride and satisfaction that the match was a 3-0 gridlock for a considerable portion of time. “We should be destroying them,” I heard more than a few times throughout the match from my Irish counterparts.

Although America did end up losing to the Irish, the experience of watching the match in their midst is one I will not soon forget.


One Response to “US vs Ireland, in Ireland’s Backyard”

  1. Sharyl Pels September 21, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    It is so fun to hear about your semester abroad! As a returnee from studying in England, I definitely understand the feeling of being completely lost while watching rugby “matches” with internationals. I was usually blindly cheering for whoever everyone else was cheering for, but it is pretty hilarious to hear that you were excited about a 3-0 loss. It sounds like you’re getting a pretty good taste of sports life abroad! Can’t wait to hear more 🙂

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